And just like that, the streak is over. The G-men donned gold jerseys, received their 2014 World Championship rings pregame, and then went out and played like champions, beating Arizona 4-1 behind rookie pitcher Chris Heston.
This is how Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy drew it up. The Giants jump out early with a few timely hits and runs and then turn it over to the stellar pitching staff. Last night, the Giants took an early 2-0 lead after three innings, then increased the lead to 4-1 after four innings. Starter and rookie Chris Heston continued to impress, throwing 7 ⅔ innings, allowing just five hits, one walk, and one run, while striking out six. Heston, 2-1, now has pitched 20 ⅔ innings over three starts and his ERA stands at 0.87. Closer Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four tries.
Heston fits in very well with the Giants’ culture, just another guy here to do his job and contribute, without a lot of attention. Manager Bruce Bochy said, “He’s got a calmness about him that you like. It’s a quiet confidence. He doesn’t get caught up in the hoopla.” Heston leads the Giants in both wins and ERA, and his emergence has been sorely needed and timely, with starters Matt Cain and Jake Peavy on the disabled list.
Pitching wasn’t the entire story as the Giants’ offense came alive for the second time in three games against the D-Backs. The Giants totaled 12 hits, and utilized timely hitting, going 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position. They did miss opportunities, leaving 11 men on base, but the way Heston pitched, the effort was enough. The offensive stars of the night were Aoki (2 for 5, double), Panik (3 for 5, RBI), Posey (2 for 4, RBI), and Crawford (1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI).
This was the type of game that Giants’ fans have come to know and love over the past six seasons. And with that, a new trend has begun, as the Giants winning streak now stands at one. With the victory, the Giants are now 4-9 on the year and remain five games back of the Dodgers who won for the sixth consecutive game.
This afternoon’s game will feature the Giants’ second most productive starter to date, Tim Hudson, facing Arizona starter Jeremy Hellickson who will be making his first start at AT & T Park. Hudson is seeking his first victory of the season and will look for support from the offense as his ERA stands at 2.25 after two starts.